Between 2010 and 2015, accidental carbon monoxide poisoning killed a total of 2,244 Americans. In 2015 alone, 393 people died from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning. Nearly 40 percent of those deaths took place in the winter months of December, January, and February. Carbon monoxide poisoning is the second most common cause of fatal non-medicinal poisoning in the U.S. The most recent data of these personal injury incidents shows more than a 90 percent increase over the past decade, despite increased awareness and more advanced detection equipment. Firefighters respond to nearly 90,000 carbon monoxide incidents each year.
Sometimes known as the silent killer, carbon monoxide is versatile. Someone can be poisoned by a small amount of carbon monoxide over an extended period of time or by a brief but large dose. These serious injuries – and even deaths – can devastate entire families. Burg Simpson’s personal injury attorneys understand the nuances of carbon monoxide cases. Call us at (720) 500-5995 or fill out a FREE case evaluation.
What Is Carbon Monoxide and Where Does It Come from?
Carbon monoxide is a gas you cannot see, smell, or taste, but it can easily be fatal. As the name implies, carbon monoxide is produced by the burning of any material that contains carbon. The bloodstream absorbs it readily and displaces the oxygen, leading to brain damage or death. Young children and older adults are particularly susceptible.
Several common household appliances can generate carbon monoxide, including:
- Gas water heaters
- Kerosene space heaters
- Charcoal grills
- Propane heaters and stoves
- Gasoline and diesel-powered generators and engines
- Cigarette smoke
- Boat engines
- Spray paint, solvents, degreasers, and paint removers
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
According to the Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can include headaches, lightheadedness, and blurred vision, among other side effects. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be difficult to detect because it can feel a lot like the flu or food poisoning. The concentration of carbon monoxide, measured in parts per million, is the most critical factor in the symptoms in an average, healthy adult. The National Fire Protection Association has produced a list of accelerating symptoms based on exposure:
- 50 ppm: No adverse effects with eight hours of exposure
- 200 ppm: Mild headaches after two to three hours
- 400 ppm: Headache and nausea after one to two hours
- 800 ppm: Headache, nausea, and dizziness after only 45 minutes. Unconsciousness can occur after one hour.
- 1,000 ppm: Loss of consciousness after one hour of exposure
- 1,600 ppm: Headache, nausea, and dizziness after 20 minutes
- 3,200 ppm: Headache, nausea, and dizziness after five to 10 minutes; collapse and unconsciousness after half an hour
- 6,400 ppm: Headache and dizziness after just a couple minutes; unconsciousness and danger of death after 10 to 15 minutes
- 12,800 ppm: Immediate physiological effects, unconsciousness, and risk of death after just 60 to 180 seconds
Contact A Burn Simpson Carbon Monoxide Lawyer Now
The most important action to take if you have suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning is to seek medical are. However, if you or a loved one have suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning injuries through someone else’s negligence, it is critical that you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Carbon monoxide can be particularly deadly for people who are asleep or intoxicated. Many of the tragic stories on the news about such cases are those of entire families wiped out in their sleep because of a faulty furnace or space heater. These incidents are often the result of negligence or recklessness. Property owners and managers may fail to maintain appliances properly, or they have been improperly installed. Manufacturers sometimes produce unsafe products.
No matter how or why it happened, if you have been poisoned by carbon monoxide, you need to talk to our personal injury lawyers. Burg Simpson has the experience and resources to handle these complex cases. Call us today at (720) 500-5995 or fill out our FREE case evaluation form to get started with your claim today.